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  • 2017 July 16: A Friend in Need

    July 16, 2017 10:30

    Michael Haydn (1737–1806), younger brother of the more famous Joseph Haydn, had been ordered by the Archbishop to compose some duets for violin and tenor, perhaps for his special use. Haydn, however, was incapacitated by a serious illness for a lengthy period and was unable to finish them, so the Archbishop threatened to deprive him of his salary. When Mozart heard of this he at once undertook the work, and visiting Haydn daily Mozart composed by his bedside. He soon completed the duets and handed them over to the Archbishop in Haydn's name. (more )

  • 2017 July 9: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

    July 09, 2017 10:30

    Robert Robinson (1735-1790) had a rough beginning. His father died when he was aged five, but his maternal grandfather, Robert Wilkin, a wealthy gentleman of Mildenhall, who had never reconciled himself to his daughter’s lowly marriage, disinherited his grandson with an inheritance amounting to couch money. His mother, unable to control him, sent him to London to learn barbering. What he learned instead was drinking and gang-life.

  • 2017 July 2: My Country 'Tis of Thee

    July 02, 2017 10:30

    In Beethoven’s day a popular musical form was “Theme and Variations”. The template was to take a popular tune of the day — the ‘theme’ — which the composer states rather simply, and follow it with ‘variations’ which displayed the composer’s imaginative powers. Beethoven was regarded as the “Chuck Norris” of that form and wrote twenty-two sets just for piano. (more )

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